Dr. Edward Ray's visit was a reminder of his school's impact on this regionOregon State University is part of our bedrock. The deep resonance of the school stems from being a land grant university. For all of OSU's stability, the place is changing. Dr. Edward Ray made that clear during his visit to Astoria Monday. Ray has been president of OSU for about 11 months.

Ray said that OSU wants to be among the top tier of land grant universities. It is currently considered to be in the mid-range of those 60 land grant institutions.

The new president is signing agreements with all of Oregon's community colleges to enable simultaneous enrollment in a community college and OSU. If Clatsop Community College will respond to this invitation, the young students of Clatsop and Pacific counties will gain a considerable advantage.

Dr. Ray's visit was a reminder of how much OSU matters to this region. The OSU Seafood Laboratory has had major impacts on the fish processing industry and the larger world of food technology. The lab also brings to Astoria and the communities at the river's mouth a cadre of researchers, scientists and professionals who deepen this region's culture. The Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center, an adjunct to the OSU Seafoods Laboratory, has become a major element in the region's burgeoning food and restaurant culture.

Despite the financial setbacks that beset our universities, there are bright lights in Oregon higher education. Edward Ray is one. George Pernsteiner is another. Pernsteiner is Gov. Ted Kulongoski's choice to be chief operating officer of the Oregon state system of higher education.

At the University of Oregon and at Portland State University, Pernsteiner mastered the concept of leveraging assets. As a generous gesture by PSU President Daniel Bernstine, Pernsteiner some three years ago took a deep interest in showing Clatsop Community College how it could leverage its assets into a downtown campus. There was no uptake during that administration.

With Pernsteiner back, in an even more influential role, we hope that Clatsop College's new administration will recognize this considerable opportunity.

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